The urge to maintain their dominance of Sussex rugby has led to Haywards Heath RFC Under 13s seeking new and innovative ways to improve their game including boosting their speed on the pitch.
Inspired by England & Harlequins full back Mike Brown who has been in storming form for both club and country over the last year - a performance he credits to the mentoring he receives from sprint guru Margot Wells - the Heath juniors decided to follow in his footsteps. Margot is the wife of Olympic Gold medallist Allan Wells and runs bespoke sprint programmes from an athletics track in Guildford for a whole host of famous sportsmen and women including rugby stars Mike Brown and Danny Cipriani who both played for England on the tour of New Zealand this summer.
The Under 13 squad attended the Wellfast - Margot Wells School of Speed to work on the fundamentals of how to run faster, learning a whole range of techniques to generate extra pace. Margot explained to the boys that in rugby “speed is the most intimidating thing you can come up against” and that “making someone’s body work as one piece is the key to injury prevention and also the key to running fast”. The Heath boys worked really hard on the track with Margot and her team for an intense couple of hours and could clearly feel the benefit by the end of the session. The Wellfast warm up drills and exercises have now been adopted by the squad and are rigourously undertaken before training and matches. The hope is that the extra yard of pace that the boys are achieving is going to lift the team in their first year of 15 aside rugby as juniors to sustain their performances of the last few years through to the series of competitive league fixtures ahead. West Sussex final wins against Chichester and the County Final success against Eastbourne last season meant that this squad moved up to juniors having been County Champions for three years in a row and are determined to keep leading the way for their age group in Sussex.
This Saturday (27 September) sees the squad’s rite of passage from mini to junior rugby at the tie presentation lunch at Haywards Heath Rugby Club prior to the first home 1st XV match of the season. The lunch will be well-attended as it is also marks farewell to the very popular Mike Travis who has given over 30 years’ service to rugby at Heath, particularly as a Colts coach and will be missed by all at the Club.